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Blood Rites
Cover of Blood Rites
Blood Rites
The Dresden Files Series, Book 6
In this novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling Dresden Files, Chicago's only professional wizard takes on a case for a vampire and becomes the prime suspect in a series of ghastly murders.
Harry Dresden has had worse assignments than going undercover on the set of an adult film. Like fleeing a burning building full of enraged demon-monkeys, for instance. Or going toe-to-leaf with a walking plant monster. Still, there's something more troubling than usual about his newest case. The film's producer believes he's the target of a sinister curse—but it's the women around him who are dying, in increasingly spectacular ways.

Harry's doubly frustrated because he only got involved with this bizarre mystery as a favor to Thomas—his flirtatious, self-absorbed vampire acquaintance of dubious integrity. Thomas has a personal stake in the case Harry can't quite figure out, until his investigation leads him straight to the vampire's oversexed, bite-happy family. Now, Harry's about to discover that Thomas' family tree has been hiding a shocking secret: a revelation that will change Harry's life forever.
In this novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling Dresden Files, Chicago's only professional wizard takes on a case for a vampire and becomes the prime suspect in a series of ghastly murders.
Harry Dresden has had worse assignments than going undercover on the set of an adult film. Like fleeing a burning building full of enraged demon-monkeys, for instance. Or going toe-to-leaf with a walking plant monster. Still, there's something more troubling than usual about his newest case. The film's producer believes he's the target of a sinister curse—but it's the women around him who are dying, in increasingly spectacular ways.

Harry's doubly frustrated because he only got involved with this bizarre mystery as a favor to Thomas—his flirtatious, self-absorbed vampire acquaintance of dubious integrity. Thomas has a personal stake in the case Harry can't quite figure out, until his investigation leads him straight to the vampire's oversexed, bite-happy family. Now, Harry's about to discover that Thomas' family tree has been hiding a shocking secret: a revelation that will change Harry's life forever.
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    ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

    I would like to thank a whole bunch of people for their continuing support, encouragement, and tolerance of me personally: June and Joy Williams at Buzzy Multimedia, Editor Jen, Agent Jen, Contracts Jen, and any other Jens out there whom I have missed, the members of the McAnally's e-mail list, the residents of the Beta-Foo Asylum, the artists (of every stripe) who have shared their work and creative inspiration with me and lots of other folks, and finally all the critics who have reviewed my work—even the most hostile reviews have provided valuable PR, and I'm much obliged to y'all for taking the time to do it.

    I need to mention my family and their continued support (or at least patience). Now that I'm settled back at Independence, I have a whole ton of family doing too many things to mention here—but I wanted to thank you all for your love and enthusiasm. I'm a lucky guy.

    Shannon and JJ get special mention, as always. They live here. They deserve it. So does our bichon, Frost, who makes sure that my feet are never cold while I'm writing.

    Chapter One

    The building was on fire, and it wasn't my fault.

    My boots slipped and slid on the tile floor as I sprinted around a corner and toward the exit doors to the abandoned school building on the southwest edge of Chicagoland. Distant streetlights provided the only light in the dusty hall, and left huge swaths of blackness crouching in the old classroom doors.

    I carried an elaborately carved wooden box about the size of a laundry basket in my arms, and its weight made my shoulders burn with effort. I'd been shot in both of them at one time or another, and the muscle burn quickly started changing into deep, aching stabs. The damned box was heavy, not even considering its contents.

    Inside the box, a bunch of flop-eared grey-and-black puppies whimpered and whined, jostled back and forth as I ran. One of the puppies, his ear already notched where some kind of doggie misadventure had marked him, was either braver or more stupid than his littermates. He scrambled around until he got his paws onto the lip of the box, and set up a painfully high-pitched barking full of squeaky snarls, big dark eyes focused behind me.

    I ran faster, my knee-length black leather duster swishing against my legs. I heard a rustling, hissing sound and juked left as best I could. A ball of some kind of noxious-smelling substance that looked like tar went zipping past me, engulfed in yellow-white flame. It hit the floor several yards beyond me, and promptly exploded into a little puddle of hungry fire.

    I tried to avoid it, but my boots had evidently been made for walking, not sprinting on dusty tile. They slid out from under me and I fell. I controlled it as much as I could, and wound up sliding on my rear, my back to the fire. It got hot for a second, but the wards I'd woven over my duster kept it from burning me.

    Another flaming glob crackled toward me, and I barely turned in time. The substance, whatever the hell it was, clung like napalm to what it hit and burned with a supernatural ferocity that had already burned a dozen metal lockers to slag in the dim halls behind me.

    The goop hit my left shoulder blade and slid off the protective spells on my mantled coat, spattering the wall beside me. I flinched nonetheless, lost my balance, and fumbled the box. Fat little puppies tumbled onto the floor with a chorus of...

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  • Booklist

    August 1, 2004
    Per usual, wizard-detective extraordinaire Harry Dresden is in trouble. He barely escapes an assassination attempt, courtesy of the Black Council of vampires, when Thomas, a vampire who has helped Harry out on occasion, asks him to take a case. It seems someone doesn't want porno film director Arturo Genosa's latest effort to get off the ground. An entropy spell has killed two of Arturo's assistants, and Thomas wants Harry to find the culprit. With suspects abounding--Arturo has no fewer than three ex-wives--Harry decides to pose as a production assistant at the studio. Though he isn't able to stop another sabotage attempt, this one threatening an actress' life, he does save the young woman. With danger closing in, the last thing Harry needs is a sexy succubus and a surprising revelation about his heritage. Filled with sizzling magic and intrigue as well as important developments for Harry, the latest of his adventures will have fans rapidly turning the pages.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2004, American Library Association.)

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Blood Rites
Blood Rites
The Dresden Files Series, Book 6
Jim Butcher
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